Dragging down big tobacco is a massive job. Asbestos defendants never have figured out how to do it successfully, perhaps in part because some insurance companies have conflicts of interest on the topic.
One NGO has been a consistent force in dragging down big tobacco – it is now known as the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law – see here for some history. Professor Richard Daynard has been leading the group for years. The group has created a new center, and it’s now pushing further into action. The new push is through the PHAI’s Center for Public Health Litigation. That group is launching a new ad campaign seeking victims for suits against big tobacco.
Set out below is the text from the group’s blog page, and the new ad, also from the blog page.
October 10th, 2014
The Center for Public Health Litigation, a project of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, has launched an advertising campaign in Massachusetts to help inform victims of cigarette companies of their legal rights. While Massachusetts is the best state in the nation to hold cigarette makers responsible in court for the decades of damage they have done after two landmark rulings from the state’s highest court, few Massachusetts victims realize that they are in a position to find some measure of justice in the courtroom.
The Center for Public Health Litigation seeks to inform victims of their rights and, where possible, provide or find legal representation to hold the industry liable. The ad, reproduced below, will appear in newspapers and other media over the next several weeks. It makes references to the $79 million payment by Lorillard Tobacco Company to the family of lung cancer victim Marie Evans.
Unlike other advertising by trial lawyers, this is an effort by a non-profit public health-committed organization. It is one of several public health legal initiatives being undertaken by PHAI’s new Center for Public Health Litigation.